2014 National Steinbeck Center Festival Celebrates The Grapes of Wrath

Starting in October and continuing throughout 2014, the National Steinbeck Center in John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, California—where visitors enjoy daily activities including an interactive exhibit of Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley—sponsors a spectacular celebration of the 1939 publication of The Grapes of Wrath. The National Steinbeck Center is located at One Main Street in Salinas, California.

2014 Festival Logo of National Steinbeck Center, Travels with Charley Exhibit

The Joad Journey West in The Grapes of Wrath

October 4-14, 2013

The National Steinbeck Center retraces the epic journey taken by the Joad family along Route 66 through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, the odyssey of Dust Bowl desperation that comprises the pre-California chapters of The Grapes of Wrath. The trip re-enactment by artists, writers, musicians, and others explores the human experience of struggle and resilience in new creative work inspired by the journey portrayed in The Grapes of Wrath. Participants will interview people along the route, create expressions of episodes and themes in various media, broadcast results via social media, and invite creative responses from the public.

2014 Steinbeck Festival Focus Book Cover: The Grapes of Wrath

The 34th Annual Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California

May 2-4, 2014

The National Steinbeck Center hosts three days of intensive festival activities in Salinas, California, and throughout Monterey County, featuring talks, tours, films, food, and visual and performing arts inspired by Travels with Charley, The Grapes of Wrath, and other works by the most famous son of 20th century Salinas, California. This year’s Steinbeck Festival will showcase the struggles of the Joads from Oklahoma to Weedpatch in The Grapes of Wrath using the work of artists and writers and oral histories collected along the October re-enactment of the family’s journey west.

From Salinas, California, to International Cities: 2014 Steinbeck Fringe Fest

The 2014 Steinbeck International Fringe Fest

Throughout 2014

Through partnerships with organizations in Cities of Letters around the world, past Steinbeck Festival events have been held in cities such as Paris, Hanoi, Krakow, Berlin, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Fes, Port-au-Prince, Guanajuato, and other locales. Continuing this global initiative, the 2014 Fringe Fest will bring the celebration of The Grapes of Wrath to Steinbeck’s international audience.

Free Friday Concerts: Chamber Music at Steinbeck’s Church

John Steinbeck and St. Paul's, the Writer's Salinas, California ChurchFrom J.S. Bach to New Chamber Music: Free Friday Concerts at Steinbeck’s Church in Salinas, California

St. Paul’s, John Steinbeck’s Episcopal church in Salinas, California, sponsors free Friday chamber music concerts at noon throughout the year. Selections ranging from J.S. Bach to new works are performed by Central California musicians such as violinists Tyler and Nicola Reilly, pianist Karen Denmark, and organists Steven Denmark, Rani Fischer, and William Ray. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is located at 1071 Pajaro Street in Salinas, California.

Fall 2013 Events at the Steinbeck Studies Center

Father Junipero's Confessor novel by Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor Discusses and Autographs His New Novel Father Junipero’s Confessor

September 30, 2013
7:00 p.m. in Room 225, Martin Luther King, Jr., Library
150 East San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95192
Free; refreshments

Carol and John Steinbeck book by Susan Shillinglaw

Susan Shillinglaw Discusses and Autographs Her New Book Carol and John Steinbeck: Portrait of a Marriage

October 9, 2013
6:00 p.m. in Room 590, Martin Luther King, Jr., Library
150 East San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95192
Free; refreshments

John Steinbeck and the Big Read

Steinbeck Fellows Read and Discuss Their New Work

December 4, 2013
7:00 p.m. in Room 225, Martin Luther King, Jr., Library
150 East San Fernando Street
San Jose, CA 95192
Free; refreshments

Ken Burns filming documentary

Ken Burns Receives the 2013 John Steinbeck Award and Discusses His Work

December 6, 2013
8:00 p.m. at the Morris Dailey Auditorium, San Jose State University
San Jose State Student Union Center
San Jose, CA 95192